Saturday, April 12, 2008


Recently, our limited dinner menu has left us in a major rut, as we mostly repeat the same basic dishes week after week. While this makes grocery shopping easy, it doesn't make our evening meals anything more than a routine chore. So, enough is enough! We decided to remedy the situation by trying three things:

  1. Expand our palettes
  2. Eat healthier - portion control and caloric intake
  3. Eat better - cut back on: ready-made foods loaded with preservatives, processed foods and convenience foods; increase: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, cooking from scratch.

Last night at my knitting group, I was sharing these aspirations with Pampootie and Susoolu, when I mentioned the one wrench in this entire plan:

I don't know much about cooking.

Now, I can bake somewhat decently. I suspect this is because things like cookies, cakes and bread are fairly straightforward: measure, mix, & stick in the oven. For a novice like myself, that's fairly simple. But let's face it: a good number of cookbooks today are anything BUT simple. Whenever I try looking for new recipes, I get a bit disheartened because most recipes seem pretentious and complex. In addition, there are ingredients and techniques I've never heard of!

Susoolu and Pampootie were quite understanding about this, and in addition to many tips, and kind offers of assistance (I don't think they know what they're getting themselves into!), they steered me in the direction of Nigel Slater's Real Fast Food.

While Mr. Tall and I were out browsing the shops and the Saturday market today, we picked up a copy of Real Fast Food, and when we hit the recipe for "Blue Cheese Pasta", we knew that would be our dinner for this evening.

Real Fast Food's focus is on meals that can be made in under a half an hour (roughly) using good quality, simple ingredients - ones you should be able to find in most supermarkets. Many recipes have variations noted, making this book an ideal starting point for your own experimentation. Thankfully, tips and helpful advice are plenty. I am so grateful to have had this book recommended to me, as it's not one I would've picked up on my own. The copy we found is very basic - it looks more like a trade paperback than a cookbook. No glossy photos to make your mouth water just by looking at them. Don't let that put you off! This book is completely worth it.

For dinner tonight, we did indeed make the "Blue Cheese Pasta". It was simple, quick and delicious. We used Gorgonzola, but paired it with some irreverent Scooby Doo shaped pasta. We can't take things too seriously now, can we?

Blue Cheese Pasta with bread from the Saturday Market


Anonymous said...

That dish looks amazing! I love anything with pasta though. I'm i9n the same dinner rut here. We eat chicken or hamburger or spaghetti. Then we eat chicken again. I need to mix it up a bit. :)

Knitting Nix said...

I love the scooby pasta - ingenious! I had a look further down your blog and I think the jacket is lovely - well done!

Romi said...

Mmmmmm. That looks delicious!

We do the same thing: we get in a complete rut!